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 Sahityaki Quizzes - 2001

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Cartoons Quiz Finals - Cartoonists Round

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Three cartoonists - Three clues for each.

1. 
a) "All my life I have painted crows. Singly, in pairs, threesomes, whole murders of them." He breaks off to chuckle. "Don't look so horrified. Murder is the collective noun for crows. Even as a child I had been fascinated by them. They are smart, lively and have a strong survival instinct. The common crow is really an uncommon bird." His first serious assignment was to illustrate stories by his brother. His first regular cartoon strip was started in the newspaper Free Press Journal, but he left the paper when the paper’s proprietor prohibited him from making fun of the communists.

b) "A little humility is not a bad thing if you are at the top," writes a fellow cartoonist as he recounts this story of the cartoonist Ranan Lurie's meeting with the person in question. Lurie asked him who the best cartoonist of his country was. He flashed back, "I am." The second, third, fourth, fifth best man on the job? He continued to repeat, "I am."

c) The first edition of the strip that made him famous was on 2nd December 1957, in a spoof on the Russian spaceship Sputnik I. In the space centre scientists are busy with the  project. Pictures of a rocket and a cratered moon loom over them. A long-coated scientist enters, points to a man standing at the doorway and says he has found the perfect space traveler. "The man from India can survive without water, food, light, air, shelter."

2.
a) He too started his career as a cartoonist in the Free Press Journal. Laxman recalls when he joined the paper he found himself seated next to this cartoonist furiously drawing a bird in a cage, and wondered, ‘Is that an Indian name?’

b) Launched his own cartoon weekly Marmik, along with his brother Shrikant, a cartoonist and writer himself, in 1960. The journal in a short time turned into a common forum for the people giving effective directions to various movements of social reforms. Marmik still continues to be published under his guidance as Editor.

c) He formed a party which, to quote its website, stands out distinctly from other stereo-typed political parties, identifying itself with the aspirations of the people giving emphasis on social service rather than on political motives.

3.
a) It was "Timeless Topix," a small Roman Catholic magazine, that offered him his first job in cartooning. Soon, he took on a second job as a teacher at the Art Instruction Schools. He practiced his drawing and met many of the people who would inspire his future work including a girl with red hair who broke his heart. At a later date, he became one of the first cartoonists to put cartoon characters on items of merchandise, introducing a diary in the name of one of his characters.

b) Buoyed by his success in the national magazine market, he went on to land a weekly comic feature called "L'il Folks" in the St. Paul Pioneer Press. Because of legal issues surrounding the name "L'il Folks", the strip was renamed. This new name made him cringe. Even after the strip’s enormous success, he felt the name connoted the "insignificant" or "unimportant".

c) He became known as "Sparky" during early childhood, nicknamed by an uncle with a soft spot for Barney Google’s horse "Sparkplug."  During the Great Depression, his hard working father, Carl, struggled to keep both his family and his barber shop afloat. Carl not only managed to find the means to enroll his son in a correspondence course in cartooning at what is now the Art Instruction Schools, Inc. ("Draw Me"), in Minneapolis. A shy and insecure student, he struggled through the program, submitting his coursework by mail instead of in person and earning only a C+ in "Drawing of Children."

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